Alberta is blessed to have frequent sunny blue skies, even on the coldest of days.
Even though we Albertans receive an average of 320 days of sunlight per year, we greatly contribute to the statistic of Vitamin D deficiency of Canadians.
(Between 70-97% of Canadians have Vitamin D insufficiency!)
Why Vitamin D Matters
Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and prevention of numerous diseases and conditions – including moodiness and mental health disease!
In a nutshell, Vitamin D:
- supports immune, brain, and nervous systems
- promotes healthy bones and teeth
- regulates insulin levels
- supports lung function and cardiovascular health
- helps prevent cancers (especially breast, prostate and colon)
(sourced from: Medical News Today)
Getting Your Vitamin D
Thankfully, people can efficiently increase their daily intake through supplements or getting outdoors.
Supplements are great – especially for the darker and colder months. But there are bonuses to getting vitamin D naturally outdoors:
- It’s free
- One can’t overdose on Vitamin D from the sun (whereas one can with supplements)
- Other benefits and happy hormones accompany the outdoor experience
BUT THERE’S A CATCH!
Vitamin D from the sun is only available during a specific time frame throughout each day. This window for opportunity gradually changes each day, and is substantially different each season.
So how can one know when it’s best to get out for Vitamin D? My functional medicine practitioner (and GP) actually recommended a FREE app to me called: Dminder.
The idea behind this app is that it will help you track and manage your Vitamin D.
This app provides daily reports (based on your geographical location) for healthy exposure, how much vitamin D you will take in during that time period, as well as daily UV ratings. It also helps you recognize if you’re deficient or not.
This app is seriously so handy – such a great tool! I do my best to plan my timing for walks and patio reading sessions with it. Getting outside is good for you at anytime of day, but why not take advantage of the Vitamin D opportunity?
Give this app a shot (you won’t be disappointed!)